Saturday, December 21, 2013

Review: Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Clean Sweep
Author:  Ilona Andrews
Series:  Innkeeper Chronicles 1
Publisher:  Self Published, December 2, 2013
Format:  eBook, 175 pages
List Price:  $4.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9781625173430 (eBook)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Author

On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is...different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, "normal" is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night....Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

Melanie's Thoughts:

Clean Sweep started out as a free serial released by the author, chapter by chapter every week on their blog. I had been religiously following the tale of the magically enhanced B&B owner, Dina Demille. Dina owns a B&B that caters to the magically inclined and when something or someone starts to kill her neighbours' dogs she decides she has to take action. With the help of the hunky werewolf Sean and the equally hot, otherworldly vampire Arland, Dina tries to capture a violent killer and save her friends in the process.

I enjoyed this serial but only reading chapters one (or two) at a time it was always a bit dis-jointed. I really appreciated the fact that Andrews was willing to share such a great story with their followers for free, free, free. I have always found their books/short stories worth whatever the price. Even saying that I jumped at the opportunity that Andrews gave reviewers to have an early copy.

Even though I had already read the story on the blog I was interested to see what had changed. I also wanted to savour every minute of reading it again and in one sitting. It did not disappoint and in part thanks to the fantastic illustrations littered throughout the story. If you have read any of my reviews you know that I am quite fussy about book covers. I know (and Qwill has to remind me) that the author doesn't usually have much choice in the cover or the models that are used. Andrews, really came up trumps not just with the cover but also with the various illustrations throughout the book. What a treat!!!! The illustrations of the main characters are done by the very talented Disanthus ( who has created illustrations of Kate from the Kate Daniels series and of Jack from my favourite game, Mass Effect.

Clean Sweep is a great story with a lot of action and character development. There is even a little 'homage' to two of my favourite characters from The Edge series. You really have to be paying attention when you read the book the first time to notice the appearance of these two characters. Dina is a great, strong female character and I like the whole back story with Dina's missing parents. An innkeeper with a magical broom is ingenious and there are many opportunities to expand on this with different guests at the inn and different worlds to visit. Andrews has made such an expansive world that there is a possibility to start a couple of other series from this one alone. I did think the ending was a tiny bit sad so I am looking forward to seeing how Andrews turns this around.

If you are new to Ilona Andrews or a fervent fan then Clean Sweep shouldn't be missed. Great story, great characters and some awesome illustrations make this a bargain at any price.


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